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Orecchiette with White Bean and Artichoke Alfredo

October 18, 2011
By Wendy Monro - Simply Food , The Journal

I don't know how many times I will have to learn this lesson before I get it through my thick skull: I cannot predict the future. I am putting it here in print so that maybe I will read it in a few days and it will sink in and embed into my brain even further.

A week ago, I was under the false assumption that I was immune to any sickness. I know, thinking about it now, it sounds crazy but I truly believed I could never get sick again...ever. I have been reading so many books on the subject of food as medicine that I was completely convinced of this fact. I believed I had a bright sickness free future. I was certain of it.

I thought that because I was exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating incredibly healthy foods, that I would not catch anything. I felt like I had an invisible force field protecting me from any cold or flu bug that might be trying to reach me. Both of my kids stayed home sick one day last week.

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Heating the sauce on the stove top.

Claud has been sick for a couple of weeks with the flu.

All the while, I just flitted around taking care of everyone. I cooked and cleaned and took care of everything around the house. I felt a little bit sorry for all of these people who were not quite as healthy as I was. I thought, these poor people who went around drinking soda and eating cake and candy and other processed foods did not stand a chance against the common cold.

Then, I jinxed it. I talked on the phone with my mom on Friday and said out loud for the universe to hear, "I never get sick. I am just so healthy and take such good care of myself. I don't think I'll ever be sick again."

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Orecchiette with

"alfredo" sauce and


Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

1 package orecchiette - cooked and drained

1 can northern white beans or cannellini beans

1 can artichoke hearts

1 cup soy milk (or 2% milk)

cup vegan sour cream (or low fat sour cream)

cup nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tablespoons Braggs (or soy sauce)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese (or low fat cream cheese)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon white wine

salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything (except the pasta) and put it into the food processor. Blend well. Pour into a saucepan and heat on medium heat until hot and ready to pour over the pasta. Serve with roasted asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the asparagus onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle on the olive oil and squeeze on the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Place into the oven for about ten minutes.

Jeez I was so full of myself, wasn't I? Well, that did it! The very next day, I woke up with a sore throat. This was not just an ordinary run of the mill sore throat. I had a terrible aching scratchy throat that was so terribly painful.

Moaning as I rolled out of bed, I was humbled. Ahhh, I thought, I am not in control.

Then, I said (accidentally out loud), "Thanks for the reminder, God."

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Claud was confused and he asked what I was talking about. I explained to him the lesson I was being forced to learn (again) as I grabbed an Advil from the cupboard. I spent the rest of the weekend in bed with a sinus infection.

Well, it wasn't too bad. I recovered quickly. I will chalk my speedy recovery up to my healthy lifestyle. I can't believe I actually thought I would never again be sick. I am a dreamer!

I still believe that eating well is the answer to a happy healthy life and that I might still be sick if I didn't eat so many fruits and vegetables.

Now, I am feeling great and I am packed and ready to spend this weekend in Los Angeles with my family. Life is good.

The weekend I spent in bed gave me time to read a lot of new articles and recipes for healthy foods.

Since I am not eating dairy during the week, I am trying to come up with clever substitutions for creamy sauces.

I ran across a few recipes, which incorporated beans and vegan cream into sauces to give them that creamy flavor.

One night this week, I decided to give it a shot. I made a sauce out of northern white beans and artichoke hearts with vegan sour cream. I didn't think it could possibly taste as good as actual cream. I was wrong. It was so delicious I couldn't believe it.

Once everything is blended into the sauce: artichoke hearts, beans, lemon juice, garlic, etc...), you just warm it up and pour it over the pasta.

It is incredibly easy and packed with tons of nutrients without the fat. If you aren't eating a non-dairy diet, you can easily substitute low fat or non-fat sour cream to this recipe. I am going to put both options into the recipe here.

Even with low fat cream, adding the beans and other ingredients make this an excellent substitution for the typical high fat alfredo sauce.

I added some roasted asparagus to the plate to give it some color. I used orecchiette pasta here. You can choose any pasta you wish, even a whole grain version.

Another good thing is that you have to buy a good bottle of white wine for this dish and you only need one tablespoon for the recipe. You can't let the rest go to waste.

So, pour a glass of nice white wine for yourself and make this delicious recipe for your family for dinner.



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